The Justice Department on Wednesday charged Mariam Taha Thompson, a 61-year-old linguist at the Pentagon, with leaking the identifies of US spies and their methods to a foreign national who is suspected of having connections to the Hezbollah militant group and to whom she was attracted to.
According to a press release, an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint against the defendant said the information Thompson collected and transmitted “included classified national defense information regarding active human assets, including their true names.”
“By compromising the identities of these human assets, Thompson placed the lives of the human assets and US military personnel in grave danger,” the press release said.
The affidavit, which was signed by FBI Special Agent Danielle Ray, alleged that internal logs showed a “notable shift” in Thompson’s computer activity beginning on December 30 – the day after the US launched airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and the same day protesters stormed the US Embassy in Iraq to protest those strikes.
According to the affidavit, the logs show Thompson repeatedly accessing classified information on the Pentagon network that she didn’t need to.
Specifically, the affidavit said, the defendant accessed “dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information,” and photographs of the sources for six weeks between December 30 and February 10.
In that six-week period, President Donald Trump also authorized the assassination of Iran’s top military official, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was a widely revered figure within the country.
Thompson is also accused of accessing classified cables detailing information a source transmitted to the US government.
In total, the Justice Department said Thompson accessed 57 files that contained information about eight intelligence sources.
Thompson was charged in the District of Columbia and is scheduled to make her first appearance Wednesday afternoon before a federal judge.
FBI special agents conducted a legal search of Thompson’s home on February 19 and discovered a handwritten note in Arabic under her mattress, according to the affidavit. The document further alleged that a translation of the note revealed that it contained the names of three confidential assets who were collecting information for the US government and instructed that their phones should be monitored.
It also contained classified information from Defense Department computer systems, as well as a warning to a target affiliated with a foreign terrorist organization tied to Hezbollah, the affidavit said.
The affidavit alleged that Thompson conveyed the classified information from the note to a coconspirator who she was romantically interested in, is suspected of having ties to Hezbollah, and has a relative working for the Lebanese government.
In another communication, the affidavit alleged Thompson transmitted information to her coconspirator that identified another confidential source and the information that person had provided to the US government. She is also accused of detailing techniques the assets used to collect information for the US.
The FBI arrested Thompson on February 27 at a US military facility overseas, where she was a contracted linguist and held top-secret security clearance.
Source » businessinsider